Unconditioned Workouts = Soreness?
I've heard tons of coaches tell me when I'm sore, that the more you work while you're sore, the better you'll become.
And I've heard many people and seen websites that said you should NOT work out fully again until the sore muscles healed.
I'm not sure which one is true but I have my doubts about the first idea.
Last year in track, I was dead sore for the entire six months of the season because every day was a workout. There was no such thing as rest; just a lighter workout. And those 'rest days' are six miles in 20 degree windy weather. Every day after track I figured I might as well get my legs amputated.
But even with the constant soreness, I could tell I was getting stronger. The year before my first track season, I couldn't run two laps around without having to stop. By the end of the season, I could run forever, I never had to stop. But every time I did a hard workout, I could feel my muscles were so damaged, it made me inconsistent. One day I was so injured I wouldn't last long, and some days I wouldn't feel tired at all.
Now today, after six track-free months, all I had was simple workouts in gym class (squats, leg curls, leg extensions, calf raises, power runners). I was sore for a max of a few days, but it was no big deal and I was gradually getting stronger. I also worked my legs from time to time.
But tonight I went to my TKD class after 2 months, doing some CRAZY leg exercises. My partner reaches for his ankles and I have to push my hands on his back and jump over him - 90 times. Then he goes stomach down on the ground and I have to jump side to side over him with only one leg, 30 times for each foot. And some other stuff.
Throughout the workout my thighs kept locking up and my calves kept cramping. You ever had that fiery, searing pain in your legs and that heavy feeling that won't let you lift your foot? That's what it felt like. I was dying slowly.
By the end of the workout, I was having a nauseating feeling, on the brink of passing out. You know that feeling where you're all dizzy and there white spots everywhere and you feel faint? Like a metallic rod is lodged through your legs and your calves stiffen everytime you lift your foot. Not to mention that headsplitting migraine and heavy feeling in the chest.
Why did I get so sore after working out every single day for two months? I didn't work out for two months in my TKD school, so was that particular workout too much for my body to handle at the time? The workouts in gym class were simply pushing out and in as a lateral movement, or curling up and down. But the workout in TKD class was side to side, different angles, up and down, etc. And it was implementing leg strength and endurance at the same time. Could it have been that I wasn't conditioned to the particular exercise?
And also, how the hell am I going to recover from this soreness in the most efficient way? Workouts like these are hard to come by and I want to take advantage of it. During track season, my diet was crap and I didn't recover that well in between workouts. What's the best way to recover my legs and what foods should I eat now that I'm sore as hell?
Last edited by Vik; 10/26/2005 9:54pm at .
Stretching after a workout, ice, good diet, and adequate sleep will reduce soreness. However, the fact is that the body needs a rest period after a hard workout or you will end up injuring yourself, overtraining, or not making adequate gains. Maybe you didn't have enough glycogen in your body (due to carb restriction), and you "hit the wall" during your workout.
I was a sprinter for track, and we alternated distance and sprint days, and we never did something like plyometrics more than 1x a week.
Also sounds to me like you're not warming up properly before a workout, hence the pain and tightness in your muscles under exertion
Ah, I see. I'm also a sprinter in track, and our rest days are long distance (3-6 miles). I guess that's their idea of rest.
I think I didn't warm up that well before the warmup, and I also didn't eat or drink much before the workout. I stretched a lot prior to the workout, but no warm up.
That must be the reason why it hurts so much, because of the lack of warm up.
One question though, how would you know when you warmed up enough?
It's fine to work out a sore muscle lightly the next day. In fact it will speed up recovery because your muscles recover the fastest 30 minutes after your workout. To further speed things up, take in some dextrose or maltodextrin within 15 minutes of your workout or preferably during your workout as well. Whey protein that contains vitamins and amino acids also help out.
Current research on DOMS indicates that the soreness is due to inflammation of connective tissue, not muscle fiber. It really isn't a good indicator of growth or even poor exercise selection at all.
However, in your case this is blatant overtraining. You weren't allowing your CNS to fully recover from the workouts. Your conditioning did not improve much because of that and you may have burned some muscle as well.
I typically warm up for a set period of time. However, I also do some arm and leg movements that let me feel if parts of my body are sore. I might throw a looping punch to see if ny muscles are tight; I might do a light ballistic stretch where I swing my leg back and forth to see what height I achieve on it.
Originally Posted by Vik
In track and field, we always ran 3/4 of a mile at our own pace before a warmup. Then we proceeded to form drills like high knees and buttkicks, which also serve as a warmup for your muscles. An acceleration or two, some brief stretching, and then it was workout time.
You gotta make sure you're eating enough food of the right kind at the right time of the day. Your body DESPERATELY needs carbs after you work out in order to fuel the protein synthesis process of making muscle. The protein for this process should come BEFORE the workout, rather than after.
For me, I usually eat an open-faced sandwich with turkey or roast beef 2 hours before a workout with plenty of water. Then a half hour before, I don't take in any water. That lets me pee right before the workout without worrying about it later, it gives me enough time for the solid food to digest (liquid foods like smoothies would digest more quickly). I try to stay away from spicy or hard-to-digest foods like peppers or dairy so I don't have to worry about cramps from gas.
Another good food before track is pasta with turkey meatballs in a plain sauce (like ketchup or unseasoned pasta sauce).
How many grams of carbs would you say you take in on a regular day? According to my food log for today, as a 170lb, 5'9 person, I took in about 450 calories of protein (110g), maybe about 350 calories of fat (40g), and 1200 calories of carbs (300g). Even if you're doing a more carb-restricted diet like the Zone diet (40% carbs), a dietary need of 2200 calories would need about 900 calories of carbs (225g carbs).
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